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Featured Speaker
Asif Khan: The Future of Location-Based Services

With each new advancement made in geolocation services, the question on our lips is; do we inch closer towards an Orwellian state, where not even the great Canadian wilderness can save us from an overlay of advertising?

One of the questions we posed to Asif Khan, President of thelmba.com and up-coming speaker at Crossmediato.com Feb 21st, Toronto:

CMTO: Why Did You Feel the Need to Create the Location Based Marketing Association?

At the time we had this emerging market place (Foursquare, Gowalla, Google), but no one was giving location-based services the attention they needed and no research was in place to support advertisers placing any real dollars into the space. We launched to help drive more dollars into the location-based ecosystem and to educate people on what location-based services can offer across all forms of media.

“People need to view location-based as data that can
inform all forms of media: radio, TV, billboards”

The LBMA represents the intersection of people, places and media. We have over 600 members from brands, retailers and restaurants to AR companies, mobile payment companies and the rest of the media industry. Over 60% of our members are brands because we have a heavy focus on driving dollars into the ecosystem.

CMTO: What’s Your Advice To Businesses Who Want to Integrate Location-Based Marketing Techniques?

Brands need to make it simple. Think about how you can use location services to affect other media. Don’t go for a purely location or mobile base campaign. Brands should be looking at the overall media plan and integrating mobile location platforms to enhance the effectiveness of the campaign. Let me give you an example, a BMW billboard opposite Starbucks. If BMW taps into the conversation at Starbucks, then you’ve used location aware services to enhance a mass media solution. This makes the campaign measurable and more effective.

“Only 6-8% of total ad dollars are dedicated to mobile advertising,
the bulk is spent on traditional”

Let’s not forget that just 6-8% of budgets are going into mobile, so in order to drive real money into the ecosystem it needs to be attached to the 92% spent on traditional media.

CMTO: Do You See Mobile Spend Growing?

Mobile is growing and growing, but TV is not going anywhere. Yes there’s potentially more dollars going into mobile but the traditional spend is not in decline – TV, radio, billboard.  That means we have thousands of companies like Square all fighting for the same slice of the pie.

CMTO: Who Do You See Emerging From the Pack in 2013?

EBay, if you look carefully at all of their assets and the companies they’ve acquired they have all the pieces in place for optimizing the consumer shopping experience through a location-based content and deals.  Apple will of course be massive and you could argue that Facebook’s Nearby solution is a Foursquare killer.

CMTO: There Have Been Questions Raised About Privacy Issues Surrounding Geolocation Tracking, Does It Concern You?

It’s a valid discussion point. People should be certainly be thinking about what they are doing and sharing but it becomes an issue of exchange of value. Ask yourself, are you prepared to share my location as long as I am getting something of value? If you’re answer is yes then it’s no longer a privacy issue.  You just need to look at the data, it used to be 80% male and 20% female and people made the mistake of thinking it was a privacy issue. The fact is that the industry was not optimized to provide value to women.  Now it’s 50% male and 50% female – what’s changed? Now you have Foursquare working with Jimmy Choo. If women want shoes they’ll share their location.

CMTO: What’s the Future of Location-Based Marketing?

A world where every person place and thing is geotech and geo addressable. Tagged by the devices that we carry in our pockets. Everything from billboards to transit shelters, people can expect that all of these things will have some form of geolocation. Then we can create geo relationships between people, places and things, all in real time.

CMTO: Tell Me One Thing The Industry Doesn’t Know About Asif Khan

I love fishing! I can catch a fish and I can clean it. When I’m totally stressed out then I’ll take solace in the middle of a lake, just fishing.

CMTO: But How will you Feel When An Advert Pops Up As You’re Cleaning that Fish?

I’d be completely happy with an AR screen above my head to watch!

Well we’re not sure we believe that, but we’re definitely in agreement that Asif Khan is one entrepreneur who won’t be stopping anytime soon. 

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